Cholera outbreak: FG embarks on nationwide water quality analysis

Kunle Sanni 

The Federal Government Thursday announced its plan to conduct a nationwide quality analysis and fact-finding revaluation process. 

This initiative aims to determine the causes and assess the impact of the recent surge of the deadly disease Cholera, which has affected various parts of Nigeria.

This was disclosed in a statement issued by Shehu Shinkafi Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources.

Cholera is a highly infectious disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.

Several outbreak of cholera in some States of the Federation has since resulted in the death of 30 persons which attests to the severity of the situation, official records reports.

Describing the recent surge of outbreaks as concerning and worrisome, the federal government noted that the ministry has dispatched a team from the National Water Quality Reference Laboratories in Lagos, Enugu, and Sokoto to collect water samples and investigate the presence of the causative organism (Vibrio cholerae) in the hotspot areas.

It further revealed that the Ministry through the WASH in Emergency Technical Working Group (WiETWG), is urgently reaching out to States’ Technical Working Groups and the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agencies (RUWASSAs), where applicable, to holistically address the outbreak.

Read full statement below

The Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation is deeply concerned about the reported outbreak of cholera in some States of the Federation resulting in the death of 30 persons which attests to the severity of the situation. Cholera is a highly infectious disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.

It is a waterborne disease that  spreads rapidly and the primary mode of transmission is through the ingestion of contaminated water or food. Symptoms of cholera include vomiting, profuse dehydration, and diarrhea (rice water stools), which can lead to death if not properly treated.

Our thoughts are with the families of the deceased and their loved ones.

In response to this outbreak, the Ministry has dispatched a team from the National Water Quality Reference Laboratories in Lagos, Enugu, and Sokoto to collect water samples and investigate the presence of the causative organism (Vibrio cholerae) in the hotspot areas.

Furthermore, the Ministry through the WASH in Emergency Technical Working Group (WiETWG), is urgently reaching out to States’ Technical Working Groups and the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agencies (RUWASSAs), where applicable, to holistically address the outbreak.

Prior to the outbreak, the National WASH in Emergency Technical Working Group had trained the 

States’ working groups on preparedness, prevention, and response mechanisms, as well as on hygiene promotion and water safety planning approaches to prevent and respond to cholera outbreaks.

Expectedly, these states have intensified similar sensitization efforts in their respective communities to reduce the number of cholera cases. They are also promoting the campaign against open defecation, which is a means of transmitting this deadly disease.

 We urge all Nigerians to remain vigilant and take precautions to protect themselves and their families from the infection through the following measures:

– Boil or treat drinking water before consumption.

– Wash your hands with soap under running and clean water regularly, especially before eating and after using the toilet.

– Wash fruits and vegetables with safe water and salt before eating.

– ⁠Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any symptoms of cholera, such as vomiting, profuse dehydration, and diarrhoea (rice water stools).

The Ministry will continue to provide updates as received from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and our response efforts as the situation evolves.

Together, we can overcome this challenge and prevent further loss of lives.

Signed:

Shehu Shinkafi Permanent Secretary

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